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Undervalued and frequently mispronounced it offers a wealth of highly aromatic and diverse styles of white wine. Riesling can vary from bone dry, all the way through to lusciously sweet Beerenauslese (BA) and Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA). Its ability to age and transmit the terroir of the vineyard without losing its individual character places it amongst the most noble and academic of grape varieties. Germany is seen as Riesling's Old World home with the greatest concentration in the Mosel Valley, however, plantings have steadily increased across the border in the region of Alsace, France. Most Alsation Rieslings tend to be on the drier side. Even though some Grand Crus contain more sugar, they are still very refreshing and appetizing, due to a high level of acidity.
A country viewed by many as the home of fine wine, it is almost unique in terms of how embedded food and wine is in the nations culture. Given the diverse geography, with so much of the country providing the climate and soil suitable for viticulture, it is no surprise that its produces such an extensive and varied selection of wines. It is the country from where the vast majority of the New World's most popular "international" grapes and stylistic influences originate. While there might seem to be an alarming disparity between the most sought after wines (were a case might set you back as much as a deposit on a small house) and the millions of gallons of vin de table filling up the European wine lake every year, there is so much great value to be found between the two extremes. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhone may still dominate the market for fine wine, but regions including the Loire, Alsace, Languedoc & Roussillon and the South West are increasingly becoming excellent sources of good quality, affordable wines.
Alsace is a viticulturally and geographically unique region of France. Due to the historical toing and froing between France and Germany, Alsace has developed, along with its own dialect, a distinct style of food and wine. Unlike the rest of France who market their wine by location Alsace makes varietal wines, an overwhelming majority of which are white. Although separated from Germany by the Rhine, Alsace's climate is more similar to its neighboring country because of the Vosges mountain range to the west, but which extends south into Germany. The Vosges stops most clouds from heading east and making Alsace the driest region in France. Major varieties include Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Pinot Noir. Although still wines make up the biggest proportion, Crémants d’Alsace are becoming a popular, less expensive alternatives to Champagne. Most are made from Pinot Blanc, however some Blanc de Noirs, made from Pinot Noir, are also produced. Alsace’s trump card is probably its Vendange Tardive (late picked) and sub category, Sélection de Grains Nobles. These are some of the most complex and age worthy wines in the country and are only made in the finest of vintages when weather permits.
White wine is a wine whose color can be pale-yellow, yellow-green, and yellow-gold colored. The wine is produced from a variety of grape varieties. The flavor and color comes from the juice of the grape and sometimes the skin of the grape as well. Interestingly, not all white wine comes from white grapes. Some select red grapes are used as in Champagne.